Frozen Crown – Winterbane

Winterbane Album Cover Art

Frozen Crown – Winterbane
Scarlet Records
Release Date: 23/04/2021
Running Time: 52:56
Review by Mark Pritchard
10/10

As I write this review, I am actually celebrating my 33rd birthday. I mean what more could I ask for? It’s a nice warm day with the sun out, and I’ve got my headphones on, blasting out “Winterbane”, the new album by Italian Power Metal band Frozen Crown. It’s been a tough old time recently for all of us, so having some new music to turn to on my birthday has given me a great way to try and shut out the bad stuff, and to even have a smile on my face. So, for an insight into my thoughts of this album, continue reading. But first, some history!

Frozen Crown are based in Milan, Italy, and were formed back in 2017. In the following couple of years, they released their first two albums “The Fallen King”, and “Crowned In Frost”. The band then toured alongside the amazing Dragonforce on a European tour in 2020 as special guest, as well as working on this third, and newest, studio album. Although the band’s journey has only been four years long so far, they have done quite a lot during this time. As well as the touring with Dragonforce, their videos on YouTube have garnered over 18 million views, and “Winterbane” has been endorsed by Dragonforce’s own Herman Li on his Twitch channel, not many bands can say the same thing! Long may the journey continue, I say! So, what does it sound like?

Well, it’s fair to say that I’ve listened to this album a good few times now! So much so, I think I’ve lost count. But I’m sitting here at my desk, cup of tea in hand, rocking in my chair with my eyes shut for the slower songs, and headbanging without caution to the rest, as “Winterbane” contains both ends of the spectrum when it comes to heavy metal intensity. There are songs that hit the heart, but then others that hit deeper, to the soul, with awesome instrumentals, and beautiful vocals. It makes for an album that I can listen to over and over again and it never gets tiring.

So, as I have listened to “Winterbane” so much, finding a song that stands above the rest has been a challenge, but I have found it…‘The Water Dancer’. The instrumentals are really soothing and play through the song like water in a stream which is calming and coupled with the lilting vocals make this such a relaxing song to listen to. This is a superb album and I have really enjoyed listening to it. If you enjoy Dragonforce and positive sounding, up-tempo Melodic Power Metal, played effortlessly, then I thoroughly recommend it.

‘Embrace The Night’ (Official Video)

TRACKLISTING:
01. Embrace The Night
02. Towards The Sun
03. Far Beyond
04. The Lone Stranger
05. Crown Eternal
06. The Water Dancer
07. Angels In Disguise
08. Night Crawler
09. Tales Of The Forest
10. Blood On The Snow

LINE-UP:
Federico Mondelli – Keyboards, Guitars & Vocals.
Giada “Jade” Etro – Vocals.
Francesco Zof – Bass.
Niso Tomasini – Drums.
Fabiola “Sheena” Bellomo – Lead Guitar.

LINKS:

Frozen Crown Promo Pic

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Mark Pritchard and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

EMQ’s with EVERMORE

Evermore Logo

EMQ’s with EVERMORE

Hi everyone! Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview with Swedish based Melodic Power Metal band Evermore. Huge thanks to guitarist, Johan Karlsson, for taking part.

What is your name, what do you play, and can you tell us a little bit about the history of the band?

My name is Johan Karlsson and I play lead guitar in Evermore.

Evermore are Johan Karlsson and Andreas Viklands (music and words) and Johan Haraldsson lead vocals.

Me (Johan K) and Andreas started playing music together in the late nineties. We played together in a band called Euphoria. After the band disrupted, we had a break from music for quite a while. But since we still wrote music, every now and then on our own, we decided, around 2016, to record an album. So, some of the songs are made out of really old ideas that have taken different shapes along the way and eventually turned out as they are today. ‘Call Of The Wild’, the opening track on the album is actually made out of the very first song we ever wrote.

How did you come up with your band name?

We wanted to have a name that was easy to remember and that gave association to metal. We thought that Evermore was a perfect name.

What Country/Region are you from and what is the Metal/Rock scene like there?

We are based in the southern part of Sweden. Right now, the metal scene here is quite small.

What is your latest release? (Album, EP, Single, Video)

Our latest release is “Court Of The Tyrant King”. It´s an eight track album that is built around the hero´s journey concept.

‘Court Of The Tyrant King’ (Lyric Video)

‘By Death Reborn’ (Audio)

Who have been your greatest influences?

Me and Andreas are very much influenced by Avantasia, Edguy, Helloween, Stratovarius and many more melodic power metal bands. But bands like Iron Maiden and Metallica have been a great influence as well. Johan Haraldsson comes from a more traditional background with bands like Saxon and Judas Priest

What first got you into music?

I have always been listening to music since I was a kid but never played it myself. When I started to play myself in my mid-teens, I quickly realised that I wanted to deliver that special feeling that some bands brought to me while listening to their songs. Today when you get THAT positive feedback I can feel like “ yes, we did it”.

If you could collaborate with a current band or musician, who would it be?

Avantasia/Tobias Sammet definitely. He has such a great creativity and he´s a great musician/songwriter. He also seems like a very humble person with a great sense of humour.

If you could play any festival in the world, which would you choose and why?

Rock in Rio. Awesome festival with so many people that love metal.

What’s the weirdest gift you have ever received from a fan?

Haha it wasn’t a gift, more like a request. If I could play accordion on a very very big birthday party. And do you know something…I did!

If you had one message for your fans, what would it be?

Thank you for all your support. We will keep doing awesome melodic metal just for you.

If you could bring one rock star back from the dead, who would it be?

Dimebag Darrell.

What do you enjoy the most about being a musician? And what do you hate?

I enjoy almost everything. It´s just so ridiculously fun to play and write songs.

I hate those time when I lack out of ideas when I´m writing songs.

If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?

It would be great if the streaming era hadn’t come with that impact as it did. Even if I use it myself, I can feel that it is very hard for bands, especially new ones to make a fair profit of their work, by selling CD´s, Vinyls etc.

Name one of your all-time favourite albums?

Just one, that’s like impossible. But then I have to say Avantasia – “Ghostlights”.

What’s best? Vinyl, Cassettes, CD’s or Downloads?

I´m not that picky with different kind of sounds. I listen exclusively on the stream format. The main reason is that it´s always available for me.

What’s the best gig that you have played to date?

Don´t really know. But one gig that I remember and that was awesome was at Head Bangers Ballroom in Hamburg.

If you weren’t a musician, what else would you be doing?

Food reviewer. I love to eat.

Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?

Tobias Sammet, Dimebag Darrell, Jack Black, Will Ferrell and Ola Englund

What’s next for the band?

Right now, it´s like a full time job promoting the album. But we are writing songs for the next album. And I tell you, it will be awesome.

What Social Media/Website links do you use to get your music out to people?

www.facebook.com/evermoremetal
www.instagram.com/evermore_metal/
www.open.spotify.com/artist/4t1wkI6J9caWGtnlIxW5Zk
www.youtube.com/channel/UCOZfHmq9GH9RuU_wRgS5vOw

Jaffa Cakes! Are they a cake or a biscuit?

It’s a biscake.

Thank you for your time. Is there anything else that you would like to add?

Thanks a lot for having me and a very special thanks to every fan of Evermore.

Evermore Promo Pic

Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this interview, unless you have the strict permission of said party. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Krilloan – Stories Of Times Forgotten EP

Stories of Times Forgotten EP Cover Art

Krilloan – Stories Of Times Forgotten EP
Self-Released
Release Date: 21/05/2021
Running Time: 20:51
Review by Simon Black
7/10

Despite it being a sub-genre in grave danger of being over done to death, good old fashioned sword and sorcery based up tempo power metal can still be refreshing and enjoyable when done just right, and this is making a very good step in that direction. This is most definitely Melodic Euro Power Metal in the vein started by Helloween and carried valiantly forward by the many ever since, with this particular instance being the brainchild of Klas Holmgren. Somewhat bashfully, the press release states that the record is driven by “A lifelong love of Melodic Metal and mediocre recording skills”, but frankly the production works out just fine (although perhaps a little less treble next time, eh Klas?).

The five tracks on here are well crafted – which in Power terms means there’s top notch musical proficiency in the playing that seems far simpler on the surface than it actually is. When songs are written like this, they easily draw you in and allow you the absolute pleasure of peeling away the complexity, drawing more and more with each additional listen – without detracting from what got your head nodding in the first place.

Lyrically it’s classic Power fare, but what raises this above the madding crowd is the sheer energy and pace of the piece. This EP ain’t long, but it flies by in less time than the average Dream Theater song with bravado, energy and some absolutely blistering performances all round. The guitar work is absolutely top notch, but I cannot fault the technical skills of anyone else in the project – not least the soaring vocals of Alex VanTrue who effortlessly stays in the kind of top end key that got the double-glazing rattling.

An excellent start from a refreshingly energetic new act, hopefully a full album is not far behind.

‘Into The Storm’ (Lyric Video)

TRACKLISTING:
01. Into The Storm
02. Yggdrasil
03. Fireborn
04. Moonblade
05. Times Forgotten

LINE-UP:
Klas Holmgren – Guitars
Steve Brockmann – Lead Guitar
Alex VanTrue – Vocals
Marco Toba – Bass
David Lanas – Drums

LINKS:

Krilloan Promo Pic

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Simon Black and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Firewind – Firewind

Firewind – Firewind
AFM Records
Release Date: 15/05/2020
Running time: 47:27
Review by Alun Jones
7.5/10

We all make mistakes. Some of us blunder all the time, and the consequence of those slip-ups can be catastrophic. And some of us don’t like to admit when we’re wrong.

Confession time: I volunteered to review this Firewind album because I got them mixed up with another band with “fire” in the name (or possibly a couple). I was slightly mortified when I realised that this band weren’t what I was expecting: none of the sludgy comfort blanket that I usually wrap my ears in.

(I did wonder why Alun picked this but as Firewind are superb and contain a bona fide guitar god in Gus G then I decided not to mention it – Rick-Ed)

Firewind are – Zeus help me – a melodic, power metal band. Not a corner of metal that I’m particularly well versed in, or a fan of. I fucking hate Helloween, for a start. And Queensrÿche. And fucking Europe. This was going to be a challenge.

Yet your old pal Al is nothing if not a trooper. They’re (partially) Greek, which intrigued me being a huge fan of the country. I plunged into this assignment with an open mind – and do you know what? This isn’t bad at all. In fact, I quite enjoyed it.

Opening track ‘Welcome To The Empire’ begins with some fine acoustic guitar before erupting into a big, bombastic rock monster. It is, like most of the album, totally over the top – but also loads of fist pumping fun. This ain’t pop music. It’s fast and powerful (see ‘Devour’), and while not quite as brutal as my usual preferences, packs a mighty wallop.

The musicianship is exemplary. Guitar genius Gus G has plenty of flair, but can throw out some crushing, crunchy riffs when required: ‘Rising Fire’ and ‘Space Cowboy’ being  two great examples. Fast, flashy solos ain’t my scene, but there’s plenty of chugging metal to keep me interested.

The rhythm section – Petros Christo (bass) and Jo Nunez (drums) go beyond textbook and play excellently throughout the album. Give ‘Orbitual Sunrise’ and ‘Overdrive’ a go for evidence…

Vocals provided by new singer Herbie Langhans are dramatic, in a typically Teutonic fashion. This guy is straight out of a Wagnerian epic; despite being somewhat more operatic than I’m used to, he can certainly belt it out. On every single song.

Sorry to disappoint any readers who thought they might actually read a less than positive review from yours truly. Firewind isn’t my usual cup of absinthe with opium chaser, but I found it very easy to appreciate. This album is well played, well written, well produced and delivered with some love and pride – all of which manages to steer this album away from trite cliché.

Metal wearing its heart on its sleeve and with a refreshing honesty, I just couldn’t bring myself to hate Firewind. If I can dig it, then fans of this genre will love it.

(Rick again! Alun gets bonus points for actually really liking this, after all, it is a great album but I’m going to have to talk to him about his dislike of Helloween and Queensrÿche…tut tut Mr. Jones) 😊

TRACKLISTING:
01. Welcome To The Empire
02. Devour
03. Rising Fire
04. Break Away
05. Orbitual Sunrise
06. Longing To Know You
07. Perfect Stranger
08. Overdrive
09. All My Life
10. Space Cowboy
11. Kill The Pain

LINE-UP:
Gus G – Guitar
Herbie Langhans – Vocals
Petro Christo – Bass
Jo Nunez – Drums

LINKS:
www.firewind.gr/
www.facebook.com/firewindofficial
www.twitter.com/firewindmusic
www.instagram.com/firewindofficial/
www.youtube.com/firetv
www.afm-records.de/en/

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Alun Jones and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

EMQ’s with ORTHANC

01 Orthanc Logo

EMQ’s with ORTHANC

Hi Everyone. Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview with Belgian Melodic Power Metal band Orthanc! Huge thanks to vocalist Ortwin Lietaert for taking part!

What is your name, what do you play and can you tell us a little bit about the history of the band?

My name is Ortwin; I’m the band’s singer. We’ve been around since the early 90’s, but the history of the band members goes further than that. We’re all from the same area and have known each other since childhood. We were in different bands when we were kids, but there’s a truth in the saying that only the strong survive, and somehow we ended up in one and the same band.

How did you come up with your band name?

I read Tolkien’s ‘Lord of the Rings’ for the first time when I was thirteen and must have read it fifteen more times ever since. I opted for any name from that book that sounded cool, just because I loved it so much. The other guys in the band came up with ‘ORTHANC’ and that was that. I’ve been explaining ever since that it has nothing to do with my first name.

What country are you from and what is the Metal/Rock scene like there?

We’re from Belgium, and there’s a strong Metal Scene here. Bands like Oathbreaker, Channel Zero, La Muerte, Amen Ra and more have an international following. But there’s also a vivid underground scene. The only problem is that there is no real club scene. There’s only a handful of good clubs, so it’s a real problem to bring the music live. You can play, one or maybe two times a year in the same club, but then it ends. But there’s a pretty good festival scene, and one has to give it all in spring and summer.

What is your latest release? (Album, EP, Single or Video)

As a band we just brought out our first full album, after nearly thirty years. It’s called “Carnival”. Imagine that? We’ve all been involved in other bands and projects, and all band members have had enough studio experience to do this recording. We all knew what we wanted, and David Ooms, the magician from Reddrum Studios who recorded us, was on the same level of thinking we were, from the minute we met him. So the whole recording went like a charm. It has been great fun for all of us.

Who have been your greatest influences?

Really? Too much to mention! I bought my first LP, with my pocket money in 1978. “Van Halen I” to be precise. Since then I have only been on one quest. “The Quest for The Perfect RIFF” It has been a hard and long endurance, and after all my years of experience, I came to the conclusion, that there is no hope. Or wait, there’s heaps of hope. Every time some kid plugs a guitar into an amplifier, there’s a chance that he or she, finds the next perfect riff. And two minutes later, on the other side of the globe, some other kid finds the next perfect riff. The thing is, I’m on a constant quest for new music. And I never let the age of the musicians get in the way of admitting that I like it and that I might take a bit of what I just heard into the next rehearsals. As a singer, Jaz Coleman from Killing Joke among others blows me to pieces. When I listen to, for example, ‘ASTEROID’ from “Killing Joke” (2003) I really wonder how the man is still able to even whisper after a performance like that.

What first got you into music?

A couple of kids from my neighbourhood had a band but no singer. The rest is history.

If you could collaborate with a current band or musician who would it be?

Someone with a different musical style and background! Very curious what a collaboration with Skrillex or 21 Pilots would sound like.

If you could play any festival in the world, which would you choose and why?

That would have to be Graspop Metal Meeting in Belgium. Been visiting the Festival for 20 years as a fan! It should be fun seeing it from the other side.

What’s the weirdest gift you have ever received from a fan?

Someone gave me a toilet brush with a fake microphone on the other end. Lol! Didn’t know if he wanted me to do rehearsals on the loo or if he thought my lyrics were shit.

If you had one message for your fans, what would it be?

Protest against any kind of injustice. Let your voice be heard. Politicians nowadays seem to be doing whatever they feel like, without listening to their voters, and most of them get away with that because no one objects after the deed is done. Silence will silence us.

If you could bring one Metal/Rock star back from the dead, who would it be?

Eddie Cochran. The man died before he could prove he was the real king of rock ‘n’ roll.

What do you enjoy the most about being a musician? And what do you hate?

I love the creative process when it comes to songwriting. Every member of the band focused on getting a song as perfect as possible. I don’t like all the hours a band has to wait between a soundcheck and the actual show. If I could get all those hours back I could take a five year holiday.

If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?

Online ticket sales. Back in the day one had to stand in line to buy concert tickets. That was fun. You met people in front of the record store all excited that their favourite band was coming and in a way that was when the concert started even if you had to wait for another two months before you would see the band. Now big corporations buy 1000 tickets at once and give them away to their customers, and the real fans don’t get a chance to buy tickets.

Name one of your all-time favourite albums?

Black Sabbath’s “Heaven and Hell”! Still sounds fresh every time I listen to it.

What’s best? Vinyl, Cassettes, CD’s or Downloads?

Hard to say! I only buy CD’s to support local bands. I download or even stream most of the music I listen to nowadays. But I still have part of my old vinyl collection that I play from time to time.

What’s the best gig that you have played to date?

Five to twelve concert for Belgian national Radio more than twenty years ago. A sold out concert in one of Belgium’s nicest venues Vooruit at Ghent! I had visited that place to see Pantera, Tool, Alice in Chains you name ‘em. And then realizing that our band was on that same stage as all the bands I adored was a life changing experience.

If you weren’t a musician, what else would you be doing?

Fishing must be really nice. Staring at an orange bobber for hours on end! Marvellous.

Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?

The first five that promise they will leave their cell phone at home.

What’s next for the band?

With the album coming out now, play as much as we can and record some new material by the end of the year.

What Social Media/Website links do you use to get your music out to people?

Bandcamp, Facebook and looking to get the new album on iTunes!
https://www.facebook.com/orthancbelgium/
https://open.spotify.com/artist/40WT1dicxlO8oVlE7ciB8p

Jaffa Cakes! Are they a cake or a biscuit?

The guys from McVitie’s named them cakes. Who am I to disagree?

Thank you for your time. Is there anything else that you would like to add?

Keep it real.

 

02 Orthanc Promo Pic

 

 

Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this interview, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Winter’s Edge – The Guardians of Our Time Pt. 1

The Guardians Of Our Time Pt.1 Cover Art

Winter’s Edge – The Guardians of Our Time Pt. 1
Self-Released
Release Date: 17/08/2018
Running Time: 35:43
Review by Lotty Whittingham
8/10

It was only last year that Winter’s Edge officially became a band. It was initially started as a solo project by guitarist Jeremy Lawler in the year 2009. It was set up to feature different musicians from around the world.

Those years have seen them experiment with their sound; include talent from the underground metal scene and line-up changes. After a two-year break, they have worked tirelessly to bring forth their latest release “The Guardians Of Our Time Pt.1” It shows listeners a solid collection of songs that will open more doors for the band regarding their career and their already huge sound has the potential to grow further. It also shows that the band are back and they mean business.

The album gets off to a promising start with the intro tracks ‘Open Worlds’ and ‘Guardians Of Our Time’; ‘Open Worlds’ is the atmospheric instrumental that has the listener glued and intrigued right away. ’Guardians Of Our Time’ gives the listener a first glimpse of the talent that is to be expected on the album; from the versatile vocal work of Charlotte Jones to the pounding drum work from Ed Anderson.

Across the album, it is clear why over the years their fan base has grown very quickly. The versatile selection of songs on the album showcase what Winter’s Edge have to offer in terms of musical talent and there is something about the band’s sound that makes someone want to be a better version of themselves.

The pounding rhythm alongside the dominant riff in ‘Path Of Desperation’ ensures that the listener is ready and willing for what’s to come next. The fist pumping energy the track gives off is infectious and will bring you to life in a recorded or live setting.

‘Dying Star’ is a beautiful ballad that initially makes the listener think they will be taking a break from the ground-breaking distortion. Don’t be fooled, this is a deception. It doesn’t make the ballad any less stunning, in fact it adds to this great track. The growls alongside the clean vocals in this track work together well, showing the vast range of Charlotte Jones’ vocals.

It ends on an excellent note with ‘In The End’ and ‘Through The Ferryman’s Eyes’. ‘The former provides one last blast of the bands talent before the latter brings the album to a close with an atmospheric interlude. The song contains excellent guitar work, vocal talent and some great musicianship.

Long-time fans of the band will know that The Ferryman has had great significance throughout the band’s career. The title of their first album was “The Ferryman’s Eyes” so it is great to see a reference to their previous material and that they haven’t forgotten their roots.

By the end of the album, you are left wanting more. You are not ready for it to end. “The Guardians Of Our Time Pt.1” marks a triumphant return from Winter’s Edge. Keep your eyes peeled and ears out for them; you would be a fool to miss them!

TRACKLISTING:
01. Open Worlds
02. Guardians Of Our Time
03. Path Of Desperation
04. Momentarily
05. Break It Up
06. Dying Star
07. Fatal Dreams
08. In The End
09. Through The Ferryman’s Eyes

LINKS:

Winter's Edge Promo Pic

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Lotty Whittingham and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.